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Buick Lucerne: Real World MPG



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    >A 6 speed transmission is a must with 100 dollar a barrel oil prices.

    Actually it's odd you'd say that. More speeds are needed if your motors have little torque at low revolutions. So you add speeds to be able to keep the motor turning at 3000 and up as people accelerate briskly; or you do that to keep the motor reving high upon slight push on the gas pedal demanding acceleration which the motor can't give at 1500-1800 due to low torque. Hence you have the tranny downshift.

    Your NorthStar V8 has gobs of torque and performs nicely in most of the 4 gears. Adding a speed might gain a slight fuel economy edge, depending on the test cycle speeds involved. Trouble is most people don't drive like the test cycles used at EPA to garner info about mileage.

    My 3800 motor has more than adequate acceleration with a 4 speed transmission. I don't accelerate at full throttle often. The people getting low 20s in everyday driving are probably doing mostly short trips under 10 miles and running on a cold motor often using lots of extra gas because of that. They also may, I said may, accelerate differently than I do from the stop signs every mile and the stop lights. I'm not in a hurry but I usually catch the jackrabbits who accelerate quickly and go within 5 of the speed limit. They don't gain a thing. My one car gives 24 in mixed driving; the older car is giving about 22-20 because of lots of short trips of 4 miles on cold motor.

    If you can take you car out on the open interstate and push the reset button on the mileage and show an average of 28 and above while cruising at 65 or so, I'd feel I'm doing great.

    Oddly the WunderKar from Honda only has a 5 speed transmission.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • If I do an all interstate trip, I'm often close to 30, while regular driving around is around 24. In pure city driving I'm sure the weight of the car would make the MPG suffer a lot. I find the 4 speed just fine with the V6 and it has plenty of power for normal driving. I wonder what these auto writers expect of a car, maybe they get spoiled from driving fast cars every day, how fast do you need to accelerate in normal driving?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    The magazine testers spend their days driving like hotdogs. Many people who are car fanatics and are here on Edmunds (most of us?) don't drive like average drivers.

    But for 90% of drivers, the 3800 and 4 speeds are more than adequate.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    True. It's why so many people choose 4-cyl versions of midsize cars (like I did). While the 4-cyl Accord I chose is faster than the V6 Lucerne, I'd imagine the 3800 Lucerne is plenty to keep you safe, if not great at highway passing.
  • I have notice the sweet spot is 54MPH - close to what you see but I do nt get 31MPH but mor like 28MPH. I once got 29 and change.

    I am also surprised that just increasing speed to 55 - 57 MPH a 10 % drop in mileage- not sure why either since lockup converter is engaged a at both speeds.

    I be interested in the octane of gas which you got your mileage. Also I hear that the level of ethenol affects mileage.
  • I use plain 87 octane with 10% ethanol. I don't WANT to use that junk but I don't have other choice. I have found that my "sweet spot" is between 60 and 65.
  • According to the Driver Information Center (DIC) my Lucerne is getting an average of 25.0 MPG. My old 2000 LeSabre was getting 28.6, and that was with 160,000 miles on the odometer. Same engine and transmission in both cars.

    The Lucerne is a terrible car all around. Thankfully, when I want to drive a smooth, quiet, well made vehicle, I can still take my old LeSabre out as it is now my wifes car.
  • Then get rid of the Lucerne. Personally, we love ours. Mileage of 30+ on the highway no problem.
  • I've had my Lucerne for a year and a half now. I've had people tell me how happy they are with theirs and what great mileage they get....Personally, I've never gotten over 23 mpg with mine! :mad: There are very few people here that have the problem that you and I do with our Lucernes. It's not the way we drive our cars. It's not the roads. It may be the fuel, but I've tried them all and none seem to make a difference. I changed over to full synthetic oil, I have tried fuel injector cleaners, NOTHING WORKS....I even had the dealership open a service file and they kept my car for 3 weeks trying to remedy the problem. They consulted with Buick (Buick was clueless), they sent it home with no remedy. I believe there are some Lemon Lucernes out there coming off the assembly lines and either Buick doesn't know how to remedy the problem, or won't...Either way, I'll keep the car for awhile longer until I pay the note down, then I'll trade it in.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    >Personally, I've never gotten over 23 mpg with

    Telll us about the area where you live as far as the type of driving you do. How close are the stoplights? Are you on the freeway?

    What mileage do you get when you take a long drive on a highway without stoplights? When you reset the MPG gauge while you're rolling on an open highway with the car warmed up, what kind of mileage do you get?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • I live in a rural area. I always warm the car up before I leave. The closest large town is 40 miles away. I have to travel highway to get anywhere and my town has only one stop light. I went to Oklahoma City 3.5 hours away and to Wichita Falls 4.5 hours away (highway.) The best I ever got was like I said 23 mpg. I don't go by the MPG readout in the car. I divide the gallons by the miles on the odometer when I fuel up to get a true reading. I use premium fuels whenever I fuel up also. I have went as far as stopping other Lucerne owners just to talk to them about their Lucerne...I get the same response every time, " I love my Lucerne, I get 29-32 miles per gallon on trips!" *sigh* Mine's a :lemon: for sure.
  • Which engine is in your Lucerne?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    >always warm the car up before I leave

    That takes additional fuel and is not recommended. Let the car idle for 10-15 seconds while you get things organized, then gentle start driving.

    Use the fuel recommende for the car. I believe regular is recommended for both the 3800 and Northstar. If you've

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • The dealership recommended that I warm the car up for 5-10 minutes on cold mornings so I do. They said it would use more fuel if I didn't. I have a 3.8 V-6... I use the recommended octane fuel which is 87 (or higher) as specified in the manual...I was told to use "high tier fuels" for example go fill up at Conoco or Shell instead of Love's or some other little convenience store with low grade fuel....
  • The dealership said to warm it up for 5-10 minutes?? I've never heard of that. My dealer said just the opposite. They said let it run for 30 seconds or so (on real cold mornings ... I live in WI) then drive away slowly. The engine warms up faster driving it than idling.
  • I don't know either way.
    All they told me is that oil when it's cold is thick, and requires a warm up in order to lubricate moving parts more efficiently. Driving it cold makes the oil pump move thick oil slower to moving parts, therefore causing friction and wear. :confuse:
  • hjw1hjw1 Posts: 17
    What is your tire pressure?

    Buick's recommended tire pressure on the Lucerne is in the 30 - 32 pound neighborhood IIRC. The maximum tire pressure printed on our tires is 44#. We run ours at around 37 as a compromise between greater rolling resistance at 32, and harsh ride at 44.

    I know, "follow the manufacturers tire pressure recommendations", but at the lower tire pressure, your mileage and tire life will be lower than at at a slightly higher pressure.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    That pressure on the sidewall is meant as a testing guideline for maximum load. You car is not loading the tire to maximum in any way shape or form.

    You should take the recommended pressure from the manufacturer and add a FEW pounds. I would keep it 35 or less. Myself I run at 33 typically on my Buicks which have a door sticker at 30. I have Michellin tires on both cars.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    Unless you're talking 0 and below (Fahrenheit) in Oklahoma City area I believe you said you live in, You only need to run it for a short part of a minute and then gently let it ease itself on down the road. It will warm up better that way. It's better for the motor overall.

    If you are particularly cold in the winter you want to put in 5W-30 oil for that oil chagne in Nov. Dec. and then switch to 10W-30 when you change your oil in the spring and have the heavier oil for summer. If your car is garaged you can do as I do in W. Ohio and use 10W-30 all the time. My car rarely sits outside where it's extra cold to be very cold for a start.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • waynenovotny

    You obviously drove a 64 Volkswagon before your Lucerne. :lemon: I will be willing to bet that most of the people who think the Lucerne is a wonderful car, drove a compact
    vehicle with square tires prior to the purchase of their Lucerne. :lemon:
  • Never drove a compact with square tires. You lose the bet. Now you have REAL problems.
  • LOL...Ok I lose but the bet was for my Lucerne...please come and take it. Bring a tow bar or trailer because sometimes it will not start. :lemon:
    I am taking Friday off to look at Lexus. I don't care what the price is. Just tired of this Lucerne nonsense. :mad:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    >taking Friday off to look at Lexus.

    You'd be much better off in your own mind with a Camry. You should look at them. I'd recommend trading today. They have cars on the lot at Toyota, so just pick one. I, for one, have have grown tired of your repetitive posting.

    I am assuming you do own a Lucerne and it sounds like your problem is your dealer. They have a network, as do all dealer brands, that trades tech information among the service managers. If a problem shows up on a car that they have trouble finding, they share the solutions with other service shops. Your dealer should just give you a loaner (part of owning a Buick is free loaners at most dealers) and drive your car for several days.

    You might want to read the Camry/Avalon/ES threads here on Edmunds.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Well, I did have a '65 VW but that was back in college. Traded a '98 Buick Century in on the Lucerne.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We're wandering pretty far away from reporting real world fuel economy. Let's wander on back to the real world topic here, what say?
  • I have an 06 lucerne with the 4.6 V8 in it. This weeks tank of gas gave me 14.8 mpg. On the road I can get as much as 22 MPG at a steady speed of 65 miles per hour. I am not unhappy about that mileage considering the weight of the car and stop and go driving. I was always told that if you have six horses you need so much feed, however if you add two more you will need additional feed. I would definitely buy this car and this engine again.
  • tf712tf712 Posts: 7
    Previously I wrote "I've been manually keeping track of my mpg since January this year. I commute everday from the outlaying 'burbs of Chicago to downtown (100 miles round trip). With all the construction and traffic backups I'm averaging 22-23 mpg. During the last winter when construction ended I was averaging 24. Haven't taken a real all highway trip yet but I'm curious to see what kind of mileage I'll get."

    Well 2007 is over and I ended up with the following:

    06 CXL V6

    Gallons used: 952.518
    Total Cost: $2,782.57
    Avg MPG: 23.32
    Miles Driven: 22,213
    Avg cost per gal.: $2.81

    All based upon manual book keeping. I took a business trip to Chattanooga with the Lucerne and averaged 30mpg on the highway with cruise control set between 65 & 70.

    So overal not bad, considering the different conditions I'm driving in Chicago here. 50/50 between city/highway.
  • 0311vn0311vn Posts: 48
    Does the Lucerne have the engine in which some cylinders shut off at high speed? What is this technology called and how many cylnders shut off?
  • 0311vn0311vn Posts: 48
    Do you live in that cold of a state. I lived in Michigan for over fifty years before moving to Cal an seldom warmed up my car; if they windows were clear, I drove her right away.
    I don't own a Lucerne but have been thinking of a bigger car like a Lucerne, but not a SUV. It's difficult to consider a full size sedan and be overly concerned with good gas mileage.I drive with people who have jerky gas pedal habits and don't seem to know it and/or care. Invest in a quality tire guage and use it every two week; run a pound or two over reccomended psi and see if it feels okay for you.
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